Northern Ireland

Weekly newspaper review: An Armagh daredevil, a campervan and a 'booze n snooze'

Tyrone Courier Image copyright Tyrone Courier
Bainbridge Image copyright Banbridge Chronicle
County Derry Post front page Image copyright County Derry Post
Ulster Gazette Image copyright Ulster Gazette

The front page of the Ulster Gazette issues a plea from the family of Willie Clarke, a Protestant workman killed by the IRA in April 1977.

A third roadside memorial has been set up to mark the 40th anniversary of his death, and his family are hoping it will not be vandalised like the others.

Mr Clarke, from Newtownhamilton, was digging drains at a farm in Mullaghbawn when he was abducted and murdered by three masked gunmen. His body was later found lying at Redmond's Cross, about five miles from the border.

His wife, Betty who was pregnant with their fourth child at the time of the murder, told the paper she was "hoping they will not touch this one".

Pastor Barrie Halliday, who led the memorial service, said "victims didn't choose the sites for memorials" and "therefore if the site offends, it is the IRA who chose all these sites".

A local daredevil is the paper's Page Three.

County Armagh man Marc Daly will be attempting to break a world record in the skies above California as part of a three-man Irish wingsuit skydiving team.

The paper reports that at 33,000ft, he will be faced with "an environment that cannot support life".

In addition, his plane will be going more than three times as fast as normal, just to make life even more difficult.

'Hey big spender'

Image copyright Norasit Kaewsai
Image caption The paper reveals that PSNI officers have made £2m in over-time in the past 18 months

The Tyrone Courier reports on a big spend by police in Mid-Ulster.

The paper reveals that police officers have made £2m in over-time in the past 18 months.

It says that's enough money to employ an additional 55 probationary constables per year.

Responding to the figures, Supt Mike Baird said: "The PSNI constantly reviews the resources it uses to ensure that public safety is maintained and criminal activity is effectively challenged".

'Booze 'n snooze?'

Continuing the theme of spending, the paper reports on what it describes as a "booze and snooze" event.

According to figures provided by Mid Ulster Council, it cost the rate-payer £1,324.92 for councillors to attend a "junket" in Dublin.

The paper says the council sent four councillors and one council officer to the LAMA Community and Council Awards.

The costs included the meal, mileage and overnight accommodation, although the paper notes Sinn Féin's Dominic Molly and SDLP's Sharon McAleer did not stay the night.

"Given that we were the only council from Northern Ireland to have been shortlisted in any category, it was important that this significant achievement was recognised by our attendance", the council hit back.

The Banbridge Chronicle leads with the story that the husband of murdered school-teacher Michaela McAreavey is offering a 50,000 euro reward for information leading to the prosecution of her killer.

Image copyright McAreavey family
Image caption John McAreavey, who has travelled to the island to try to get more answers said the family feel "letdown by the justice system"

Mrs McAreavey was murdered on honeymoon in Mauritius in 2010 but her killer has never been brought to justice.

John McAreavey, who has travelled to the island to try to get more answers said the family feel "let down by the justice system".

'Is Enniskillen a cold-house for camper vans?'

There are some changes afoot in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council.

The paper reports that food waste legislation is changing so, by law, all food waste must go in a brown bin.

The Fermanagh Herald has a tragic front page, with the scene of a fatal road crash in Kinawley.

It reports that a man in his fifties died after a one car crash on the Moher Road on Monday.

Could an international incident be brewing in Fermanagh? The paper reports that a "frustrated tourist" was "forced" to leave Enniskillen as she was unable to find suitable parking for her camper van.

The unnamed tourist says she was unimpressed by the lack of parking of camper vans in the town entre.

She told the paper:"Where are we suppose to park? The town is not doing much for tourists who wish to visit the town with their camper vans for the day".

Image copyright pappamaart
Image caption Where's a little camper van to park in Enniskillen town?

The council said "there are no overnight facilities for camper vans in the town but around Enniskillen there are a number of caravan parks that cater for camper vans".

'Last beach walk'

The North Belfast News reports on a particularly sad story with the headline "Father died on a beach walk to remember wife's passing".

Sean Donnelly, 69, from Ardoyne, was found dead on a beach in County Down. It is believed he suffered from a heart-related condition.

Sean's son, John, told the paper his family are of the opinion that he went to the beach to remember his wife, Marian who passed away two years ago. Sean says his dad "loved Murlough Bay and he and his mother found it to be a "safe haven".

The paper reports that Sinn Féin have welcomed the decision not to close the zoo, despite the fact that it costs the council "£40,000" per week.

Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Ellen Campbell said residents across North Belfast were "very supportive of the zoo".

However, the UUP's Chris McGimpsey stressed that the zoo is a "financial drain".

It looks like the elephants and monkeys will be safe, for now at least.

'Absolute hell'

Image caption The judge was sentencing a woman for being drunk and disorderly in A & E at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry

It's time to go west and look at the County Derry post. The paper reports that a judge has described Accident and Emergency at Altnagelvin Hospitalas "absolute hell".

Judge Barney McElholm made the comments while sentencing a woman for being drunk and disorderly at the hospital.

"One elderly woman I know who is in her 80s had the misfortune to spend a Saturday evening in Altnagelvin a few years ago," he said.

"People were running in and out mad drunk being chased by police, being abusive to staff to staff and spitting and swearing all over the place. She described it as hell."